The George Krabbenhoeft House in Davenport’s Gold Coast burned on the morning of October 21st, 2020. The house was undergoing restoration by Gateway Redevelopment Group (GRG), a volunteer not-for-profit group whose mission is saving abandoned buildings in the neighborhood. Since 2002, the group has intervened on behalf of eight vacant properties whose futures were in question.
Lost in the fire was not only the building, but rooms full of architectural salvage. Proceeds for the sale of these materials, carefully harvested by GRG volunteers or donated by supporters, are used to fund the group’s ongoing rehabilitation efforts.
Early history records of the house are unclear. The first documented owner was George Krabbenhoeft. The house appears to have begun as a one-and-a-half story cottage and was a full two-story home by 1910. By 2015, the home was vacant and deteriorating and it was placed on the city of Davenport’s demolition list. GRG took possession of the property in 2017 and had invested $50,000 in restoration. The group immediately installed a new roof and addressed the deteriorated rear second floor section. It later had asbestos siding professionally removed. In the summer of 2019, repairs to the two-story front porches were completed.
Emergency demolition costs are $9,000. As is the case with many vacant buildings, the property was not insured. The estimated value of the salvaged materials lost was at minimum $5,000-$10,000. The loss of the building and its contents represent not only a loss in future revenue for GRG, but hundreds of volunteer hours donated by dedicated GRG supporters.